Marriage moves forward in Brazil: Two additional states pass the freedom to marry

Yesterday, marriage continued moving forward in Brazil when the Corregedor Geral de Justiça in two additional states - Paraíba and Santa Catarina (Articles in Portuguese) - authorized marriages between same-sex couples. Now, fourteen of the 27 jursidictions in Brazil (13 states and the Federal District) have approved the freedom to marry. Earlier this month, Rio de Janeiro and Rondônia saw similar developments. 

Since 2011, federal marriage laws in Brazil have been somewhat confusing; on May 5, 2011, the Supreme Federal Court voted to allow same-sex couples nationwide many of the legal rights as married couples (through a mechanism called "stable union"), and since June 2011, same-sex couples joined together in "stable union" may petition judges to convert their union into a marriage. The two-step process to being married can be performed across Brazil, but now many jurisdictions have ordered a final end to the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.

In these states (and the federal district), couples can marry in Brazil without the two-step process: Alagoas (December 2011), Sergipe (July 2012), Espíritu Santo (August 2012), Bahía (November 2012), the Brazilian Federal District (December 2012), Piauí (December 2012), São Paulo (December 2012), Ceará (March 2013), Paraná (March 2013), Mato Grosso do Sul (April 2013), Rio de Janeiro (April 2013), Rondônia (April 2013), and now Paraíba and Santa Catarina (April 2013). 

Now, nearly 60% of the population of Brazil live in states where same-sex couples can marry without the two-step process.  

The news out of Brazil is the latest international victory for the freedom to marry. This month, the legislatures in Uruguay, France, and New Zealand have taken definitive votes to pass the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide.

After marriage legislation takes effect in Uruguay, France and New Zealand, same-sex couples will be able to share in the freedom to marry in 17 countries.   

Read all about the international move toward marriage HERE